When someone sneezes, a common response is, “God bless you.” But one California teacher finds this statement so offensive and disruptive that he’s working to cut back on its usage in the classroom.
Steve Cuckovich, a health teacher at William C. Wood High School in Vacaville, California, has attempted to banish the friendly gesture, as he believes it is both disrespectful and disruptive. To punish students who do, indeed, say “God bless you” after one of their classmates sneezes, he purportedly knocks 25 points off of their grade.
While this story may seem unbelievable at first glance, Cuckovich, himself, has commented on the classroom ban. According to KFSN, he says that the policy isn’t about religion. He simply believes that the gesture is outdated and that it is disruptive. He says:
“When you sneezed in the old days, they thought you were dispelling evil spirits out of your body. So they were saying, ‘god bless you’ for getting rid of evil spirits. But today, I said what you‘re doing doesn’t really make any sense anymore.”
Parents, of course, are outraged, especially considering the fact that this move very clearly stands to impose Cuckovich’s view on the classroom. The school has come to agree with concerned parents, with the teacher now pledging to implement a more palatable punishment for the offense.